Assessors to the Leveson and Mid-Staffordshire inquiries are to give evidence to the House of Lords Committee on the Inquiries Act 2005, on Wednesday 4 December.
The Lords Committee is investigating how well the Inquiries Act 2005 ensures that public inquiries are carried out as effectively and thoroughly as possible.
The witnesses on Wednesday will be Sir David Bell, currently non-executive director of the Economist, who was an assessor to the Leveson Inquiry, and Dr Judith Smith, currently Nuffield Trust’s Director of Policy, who was an assessor to the Mid-Staffordshire Inquiry. They will be asked how their role as assessor worked with the role of the inquiry Chairman.
Questions they will face may include:
Should the decision on the appointment of assessors be taken by the Chairman once he or she has been appointed?
Should help for the Chairman come from expert panel members with a full decision-making role or expert assessors with only an advisory role?
What are the disadvantages to an assessor’s input to an inquiry not usually being on the record?
Do you think assessor input and advice should be made public?
The evidence session will start at 10.40am on Wednesday 4 December in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords.
The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.